Lysefjord at the start and finish
Located in southwestern Norway in the Ryfylke area, the fjord is 42 kilometers.
Lysefjord means light fjord which describes the lightly colored granite rocks along the fjord’s sides.
Much gratitude to BIG Cycling members Helmuth Dekkers (Netherlands), Heiko Linnert (Germany) and Ard Oostra (Switzerland) for their invaluable contributions to this page.
The Lysebotn cycling climb is one of the world’s great bike climbing experiences. The views are absolutely stunning, and who doesn’t love Norway!? Although generally not considered a cycling destination, there are some bike climbs in Norway that justify packing up the bike, flying into Oslo and then driving great distances to experience spectacular scenery and epic climbs. The travel to the climbs is also beautiful and will make the time pass pleasantly.
Because of the rugged and mountainous terrain leading to and around the fjord, this is a very lightly populated area with only the small village of Lysebotn at the eastern end and villages of Forsand and Oanes at the western end.
Lysebotn is an isolated and tiny village (population 13, reported as of 2017). Although Lsyebotn is small, it does have significant tourist traffic from hikers, sightseers and adventurers attracted to the extraordinary scenery and mountain features nearby.
Photos in and around Lysebotn.
The Lysebotnvegen Road is the only vehicular access to Lysebotn. It is dramatic and spectacular, with 27 hairpins, including one that is actually inside a tunnel.
A scenic and unique cycling experience.
Our friend from the Netherlands, Helmuth Dekkers writes:
There is only 1 tunnel! I can confirm that as I cycled it myself. There are NO other tunnels.
Even though the tunnel is lit quite well, I do advise to bring lights and I think it is mandatory to have a light at the front and the rear so you are visible well for cars from the rear and front.
The 1 km tunnel begins 2 km from climb start in Lysebotn.
Unlike most tunnels in the world, there is a hairpin in the middle.
This is an end road from Ovre Sirdal to Lysebotn and hence there is not much traffic to/from Lysebotn.
The other means to reach Lysebotn is by ferry from Stavanger. You will pass the famous Pulpit rock and if you are lucky you can see it from below.
I advise cyclists however to take the road from Ovre Sirdal as it is really a treat to drive through this beautiful landscape.
And the tunnel is a dual carriageway so in that respect you don't have to fear that cars cannot overtake you or for cars coming towards you when cycling through the tunnel.
I have cycled other tunnels in Norway, and feel this tunnel is not a problem for cyclists. There is also no sign that cyclists are prohibited like I have seen for other tunnels in Norway (see below for one of the tunnels in the Hardangervidda climb in Norway from Eidfjord to Dyranut).
Example of tunnel where cyclists are prohibited (sign highlighted at right of photos)
So I really do not see the need to start after the tunnel (This would imply that you would need to park at Restaurant Øygardstølen and then descent to the tunnel and go up again. You will miss 3km of the ascent at 6.37%!)
Last but not least, you are not only near to the famous Pulpit Rock but also near to:
“Kjeragbolten is a boulder located on the mountain Kjerag in Forsand municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. The rock itself is a 5-cubic-metre (180 cu ft) glacial deposit wedged in the mountain's crevasse. It is a popular tourist destination and is accessible without any climbing equipment. However, it is suspended above a 984-metre (3,228 ft) deep abyss. It is also a popular site for BASE jumping. The boulder is located just southwest of the village of Lysebotn, just south of the Lysefjorden” (Wikipedia - Kjeragbolten).
Left: Helmuth and Patricia on Kjeragbolten (984m/3,228’ above Lysebotn) -- aaagghhhhh . . .
Right: Helmuth on Nesatind, which is to the right and just before reaching Kjeragbolten - best views of all!
These wonderful hikes are accessed from the restaurant and hotel Øygardstølen, located 6.8 kilometers from the start, near the last of the 27 hairpins.
The Preikestolen cliffs 604 meters (1,982’) above Lysefjord’s western end.
Popular Pulpit Rock is right center, the lower step of the cliff.
Photo center is the eastern end of Lyseford and Lysebotn
Kjerag center right.
Lysefjord as seen from 600 meters above.
Pulpit Rock is upper right of photo.
Thank you Helmuth Dekkers (Netherlands), and . . .
Ard Oostra (Switzerland).